Fresh off the heels of his West Point lie being exposed by Politico, the Wall Street Journal has revealed new allegations that another story included in Ben Carson’s book doesn’t appear to be true either.
In his book Gifted Hands, Carson wrote about an incident at Yale where students were told that an exam they took for a class he called “Perceptions 301” had inadvertently burned, requiring each student to retake the exam. Only this time the exam was “incredibly difficult, if not impossible” according to Carson, prompting every single student (around 150 of them) to give up on the exam and walk out – except him, of course. He claims it was a test of the “most honest” student and he was rewarded with $10 from his professor and his picture taken by the Yale Daily News.
Without knowing anything more, that story sounds completely absurd. Maybe I’m missing the point, but I’m not sure how giving up on an unfair exam exemplifies the “honesty” of a student. So the professor wanted to test how “honest” each student was by lying to them about what happened to their original exams? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m not sure how it’s being “dishonest” to be upset that an exam you took (and might have felt you did very well on) was lost, only to be replaced by a much more difficult version. That seems like a very legitimate gripe if you ask me.
Then again, that would require this story to be true, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Like so many of Ben Carson’s other tall tales, there seems to be almost no evidence that this event ever took place.
According to the Wall Street Journal, no photograph of Carson exists in the newspaper’s archives and a Yale librarian said that no course titled “Perceptions 301” was offered while he was a student.
When CBS News sought comment from the Carson campaign, a spokesmen essentially dismissed the question, saying, “I don’t see anything to respond to. So Dr. Carson got the title of the class wrong?”
Predictably dismissive, not a shock.
The problem here is, this is not about one story. The GOP presidential frontrunner has a growing list of events from his past that have come under scrutiny recently, many of which seem to point toward deception. Not only that, but this report comes on the heels of the Politico story that factually caught Carson misinterpreting being offered a full scholarship to West Point – a lie he doubled down on even after he was confronted with the facts.
The problem here is the pathological nature of Ben Carson’s lies. It seems that Carson is someone who likes to embellish stories about his past, or flat-out make up lies about them, to make himself seem like a strong, honest leader who has more integrity and a higher moral code than everyone else. That’s a legitimate problem – especially since Carson has not only profited from these lies, but is now running for president.
Let me put the West Point and Yale stories into perspective.
Here are two stories that make Ben Carson seem like this great leader who rose to the ranks of a student offered a full scholarship to West Point, who then went on to Yale where he was the only student to stay for an exam he described as nearly “impossible” which he claims turned out to be a test of a person’s character.
Meanwhile, he was never offered a scholarship to West Point, and according to sources at Yale, there’s no record of the class Carson describes or the photo he allegedly took for the school’s newspaper.
Again, it’s not so much the lies themselves that are the issue, it’s the fact that there’s clearly a pattern of Ben Carson fabricating events from his past to make himself seem like something he isn’t. Then it’s not just that he appears to have fabricated these tales, it’s that he continues to insist that they’re true – even when confronted with evidence that disproves them.
While I know most of his supporters are too gullible to care about this, Ben Carson’s lies do matter. His campaign doesn’t seem like it’s going to survive the media’s scrutiny. It’s one thing to get away with a few lies when you’re just trying to sell books or give speeches, but it’s quite another when you’re running for President of the United States.